3 Steps to Power Marketing

International competition is increasing and so is the need for powerful marketing strategies. Follow these 3 how-to-steps to create and strengthen your market position.

1) Define your company's mission
The world is full of companies that have folded, either because they didn't have a mission, and hence no basis for focussing, or because their mission was too product oriented ("it's our mission to make the best heaters") rather than needs oriented ("our mission is to create indoor heating solutions").

Avoid focussing solely on your products and internal processes. If you focus exclusively on products you risk restraining and narrowing your thinking -- what's also referred to as the danger of "marketing myopia".

The foundation for any long-term marketing success is to concentrate on solving problems and meeting customer requirements in a profitable way.

2) Determine your industry's key success factors
When you have a niche position, you operate in a specialist market segment. Your strengths are based on your in-depth understanding of the market and the expertise and skills you develop on that basis.

The niche must be big enough to be profitable for you, yet too small and/or too specialised for big competitors to really threaten you.

To determine specifically how to go about this, you need to analyse your own position, and that of your competitors, to identify exactly where and how you are stronger. You should also analyse this against the marketplace and potential customers in order to find out whether the niche is, or will be, profitable.

Look at key success factors
A good way to do this is to look at the industry's key success factors. You can approach this in two ways:

Identify individual sub-segments based on macro and micro factors (industry/vertical, needs/requirements and purchasing behaviours) and find out how you can meet these segments' needs.

Identify the factors that separate winners from losers and then determine what the winners are doing better.

A lengthy but worthwhile exercise
Note that key success factors can exist anywhere in the company (sales, purchasing, promotion, production, delivery, etc) so, although very worthwhile, it can be a lengthy and time consuming exercise to identify the key success factors you want to exploit for your niche.

3) Make a deliberate choice - focus
Sooner or later, you have to take a decision about what niches to serve and how.

Once you've done that, you'll probably also need to change the internal allocation of resources (e.g. by moving budget money from less important areas to your chosen key success factors),.

Moreover, you have to cogently communicate that you have identified niches you consider "your own". Getting the message across internally in your organisation (and amongst your channel partners) is extremely important and probably even more important than communicating it externally to the marketplace.

Your sales team and partners must believe in the message and communicate it effectively to potential customers.

Persistence is key
It takes time from when the decision has been made to the organisation has been aligned. It may take even longer before you can reap the full benefits of your new focussed strategy.

Consider outside help
You can use external assistance to gather facts about the marketplace so that you have a much more solid foundation for your niche strategy.

For instance, with LEC's Cross-border Market Map analysis, you get a clear, point-for-point analysis of your strengths and weaknesses vis-à-vis your competitors.

You can also use us to run a strategic workshop with you (with or without the Cross-border Market Map) in which we partner with you to review and analyse your situation.

Clarity Cross-border Market Map
The Cross-border Market Map is your inestimable tool for your selection of suitable niches. It gives you answers to awareness questions such as:

How well known are you really?
How many potential customers would consider you - and competitors - if they were to buy now?
How many can recall your company, off the cuff?
How many know of your company, when aided?

What's actually important to your prospects (choice criteria):
How important are factors such as quality, price, delivery, service, etc., in relation to each other?

How do prospects really perceive you:
What are their perceptions of how well you and your competitors score on these points (the choice criteria)?

Adapted to your situation
Naturally, the Market Map is adapted to your situation so that you decide what information you want to get.

What's more, you get the information directly from the horse's mouth; it's your prospective customers themselves who tell you about you and your competitors' strengths and weaknesses.

We get you the information directly from decision-makers, over the telephone, anywhere in the world, with a representative section of companies in your target group.

That's why a Market Map analysis is an extremely good basis for your strategic decisions… …and it can usually be done without "breaking the bank".

Your solutions partner
For very good reasons, it can be difficult to avoid "navel contemplation" when you scrutinise your own situation. This is why many companies find it very useful to partner with facilitators with special techniques who can apply a fresh look at their company and its situation.

Should you wish, Clarity would be happy to work with you as a partner in a strategic workshop of 1 - 2 days. You would use us as catalysts to ensure you get a constructive and sensible framework and to make sure all questions are raised and debated in a productive way.

Click here for more information about the Cross-border Market Map.

For further information about this, or if you have any questions or comments, call us now at 0870 745 6899, email, or use the form.

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